I’m looking for a new game, and I’m not really too current on what’s out there. My favorites so far are:
Advance Wars DS + Days of Ruin. The two have some minor (but real) differences, but I like them both. Great tactical gameplay with a variety of units, challenging level design, and fun CO mechanics (I’m partial to Days of Ruin’s).
The World Ends With You. Very funky, offbeat action/RPG by Square-Enix. I love the battle system, which has you equipping a bunch of different pins that have their own attacks, which you must implement by slashing, tapping, drawing circles, etc. on and around enemies. Dual-screen combat that gets really hectic, since you have to control both at the same time. I really like the modern setting, the J-Pop and J-Rap (!), and the attention to details.
Mario Kart DS. I fell in love the minute I played the original SNES version, and it’s been an ongoing affair ever since. I love the variety in karts and the fact that you can unlock every kart to use with every character.
Metroid Prime: Hunters. I didn’t think a full 3D game would work on the NDS, but I was happily proven wrong. I love fighting the other bounty hunters, getting their gun abilities, and just exploring vast levels. The only disappointing aspect was the bosses.
Yoshi’s Island DS. Really challenging platformer, I think I’ve given up on trying to get 100% completion for all the levels. I like the use of the baby that you floats away when you get hit, and you only have X seconds to get him back, where X = the number of stars you’ve currently collected. And using unhatched offspring as weapons = sweet.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. This was probably my least favorite Zelda; I really hated the sailing segments, and the fact that you have to keep going back to the same dungeon over and OVER and OOOOOVVVEEEER again. Still, a Zelda game.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles! 'Nuff said.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2. I loved the first, and I loved this one. I’m not done yet, and I’ve already been playing 95 hours. Now that’s getting your money’s worth! (Besides which, I’m a huge fan of the Blue Mage.)
The World Ends With You–This is a ridiculously cool game. The setting and mythos are really offbeat and interesting, and the story is good. The art is solid and well-matched thematically. They pack quite a bit of innovative play into it. Also, it has a real rarity–an RPG minigame that’s actually kind of fun.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village–The puzzles were addictive, with lots of twists on old chestnuts as well as quite a few puzzles that were new to me. The story and characters were quirky and surreal enough to be fun without being too annoying. It features one of the most amusingly absurd cutscenes I’ve ever seen in a game.
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime–Finally, you get to play as the unsung hero of the Dragon Quest series…a blue slime. A stretchy, bouncy slime that alternates between boinging on bad guys’ heads and engaging in giant tank battles in which everything is ammunition. It’s rife with truly horrible puns, absurd villains, and parodies of other Dragon Quest games. It’s good, clean, slimy fun.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass–I actually found the sailing vastly improved over the previous iteration, and didn’t mind it at all. There were lots of refinements to the rest of the gameplay as well. I consider it a very strong entry in the Zelda franchise; it holds true to the themes and the sense of fun that made the series a favorite, while improving controls so that I could do many of the things I always wished I could do in earlier games. The only real downside is the seemingly endless repetition of the main dungeon. A couple more warp points would have vastly improved things.
Any opinions on good DS games for kids? My son is 6 and got a DS a couple of months ago. He can’t read yet, which does put a crimp in his choices at this point.
What he has:
Mario Kart: Loves it. This is his favorite.
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games: It took him a while to get into this one, but he’s been playing it more and more.
Lego Indiana Jones: This one is frustrating because there are parts that he just can’t figure out how to get through, and I’m no help at all.
Spongebob Atlantis Squarepantis: He’s bored by this one.
I have to say I am a huge fan of the Phoenix Wright/Apollo Justice series of DS games. When I first heard of them, I thought “How can a game about lawyers and investigations be that popular? Surely it can’t be fun.” But I finally gave in after a recommendation from a friend and bought the first one in the series. The damn thing was so addicting I’m now currently on the fourth game in the series. (There’s a fifth in development right now, I think.) The stories and cases are amazing and engaging, and presents a lot of puzzles that really make you think.
I also will heartily agree to The World Ends With You and I also enjoy Geometry Wars: Galaxies. I can only play Geometry Wars for a little at a time but it’s great if you just want to sit down for a little bit and play a fun arcade-style game without any plot or heavy thinking.
New Super Mario Brothers. It’s classic Mario gameplay, with shiny graphics and cool new items and quirks that don’t detract from the classic gameplay. Seriously, it’s more like SMB3 than anything else.
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. If you ever played either Symphony of the Night, or one of the three Castlevanias for the GBA, the gameplay is very similar, with each one having it’s own unique aspects. In DoS, you collect the “souls” of the enemies you kill to use as secondary weapons, defenses, skills, and familiars. In PoR, you have two characters you switch between (like in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse for the NES.) There’s also a new Castlevania coming out soon (Order of Ecclesia) as well.
Contra 4 - the game made for people who could beat the NES game without cheating. Pulls no punches - you have to WORK to beat it. It’s damn fun even if I do have to start over every 5-10 minutes
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - Play Aria (for the GBA) first sine this is a direct sequel, but these are the two best games in the CV series. Took everything that worked in the MetroidVania games and dumped everything that didn’t.
Super Princess Peach - shuddup! It’s not as good as New SMB (which was just mentioned in the last post) but it’s a great platformer game.